Runners and supporters with Dep Frank O'Rourke
A number of runners from the Johnstownbridge area decided to run the Dublin City Marathon in aid of the Irish Kidney Association's Kildare Branch.
Ita Cusack explained that the members of Geraldines Running Buddies, who didn't take part in this years marathon collected sponsorship on behalf of the participants.
Ita, Paul McDade, Irene Curley and Maeve Conlon were due to take on the 26 mile course last Sunday.
Competition was not limited to the streets of Dublin with some inter team rivalry bubbling up in the build up to the event with “Team Ita” rumoured to be marginally ahead in the sponsorship stakes.
Just some of the participants were photographed recently in the Hamlet Court Hotel in Johnstownbridge with some support from Dep Frank O’Rourke.
A spokesperson for the local branch said the deputy's involvement followed from a recent meeting in Leinster House to explore how best he and his colleague Dep Fiona O’Loughlin could help the Kildare Branch.
"Almost one in ten people in county Kildare will, during their lives be affected by kidney disease. Thankfully, far fewer will ever need dialysis but the truth is that they will never fully recover either. Even if someone receives a transplant the percentage kidney function that is restored varies greatly as does the life expectancy of the kidney itself. This is why you hear of people getting a second or even third transplant," said a Kildare IKA spokesperson.
"The reason for such a dour expression is just to highlight, not the need but the absolute necessity for ongoing support. We are all delighted to hear when a partner or sibling donates a kidney, and are uplifted by the generosity of a posthumous organ donation but before that patients, their families and carers all require support. The Kildare branch of the Irish Kidney Association provides this care to those affected, here in Kildare."
When someones kidney function declines to the level that they require dialysis it is important to understand the the dialysis machine is taking over the function of the kidney and among other things, removes toxins from the blood.
"Kidneys are on the job 24/7 whereas the dialysis is only available for three to four hours, typically three days a week. Obviously, as dialysis cant match a kidney there are therefore physical reasons why a patient often feels physically unwell. The interminable sickness and hope of getting a transplant carries also a great deal of emotional baggage and it is here where the Kildare Branch of the IKA works best," he said.
"Our job is to provide support for Kildare members on the ground. We achieve this primarily by realizing that the BEST support comes from community. Being in the presence of others at various stages of the disease and sharing experiences or being reassured by others who have survived really helps. The old adage being, a problem shared is a problem halved.
"As well as the shared support we address the education deficit. One specialist explained that consultants consider themselves lucky if a patient absorbs 25% of what they are being told during the consultation. We, the branch retain the services of the very best national experts from Beaumont, Vincents, the Matter, Tallaght, Blackrock etc to Kildare, to present information and answer questions in a convivial stress free environment."